From Monday morning, motorists travelling to and from central Wellington will start seeing journey time estimates on the region’s electronic information signs as part of a travel information trial by the NZ Transport Agency and Wellington Transport Operations Centre.
Transport Agency Wellington highways manager Rod James says the messages will give motorists estimated journeys times to and from the Wellington CBD based on current real time traffic conditions. This is part of a three month trial to help assess the value of this information to commuters, keeping them better informed about the likely length of their journey.
“These signs are used regularly to warn of incidents and roadworks on the highway and other roads, but this is the first time we have used them to report on normal traffic conditions. Giving motorists readily available real time information about current conditions and journey times can also assist them to make better informed choices about the times that they regularly travel, and about alternative options such as the region's Park and Ride and rail services.”
Journey time messages will be updated regularly and are likely to vary through the duration of people's trips. The information will be displayed on electronic information signs on SH1 and SH2 during peak periods Monday-Friday and will show estimated journey times for inbound trips to the CBD in the morning peak, and to outbound destinations in the evening peak (eg Petone, Porirua, Waikanae).
Mr James says that because traffic conditions can deteriorate at short notice, journeys may end up taking a little longer than initially estimated, and one of the purposes of the trial is to help the Transport Agency identify how the service can be improved.
The Transport Agency are asking motorists to remember that these journey time estimates are based on current conditions, rather than forecast conditions. As such, they remain indicative and motorists should always leave extra time up their sleeve if they have time-sensitive engagements.
“The travel times will be a pretty good snapshot of current travel conditions, but those journey times could end up being a tad longer if traffic snarls up over the course of your journey. So if you’re travelling just as peak hour is heating up, or if there’s an incident on the highway, that journey time will be revised upwards.
"Our electronic signs will keep journey times regularly updated along the course of their journey, while also advising of any incidents or travel warnings. Warnings about incidents and travel conditions will take precedence over journey times messaging."
“It’s just a trial at this stage, but we’re hoping to expand these services more widely if they prove successful.”
The journey time information will be displayed to motorists travelling between Waikanae and the Wellington CBD on SH1, and Maymorn and the CBD on SH2. Journey times will also be displayed in the morning for westbound travellers on SH1 at Cobham Drive and Sussex Street.